Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan, 2018. Video exhibition on the daily/mundane tasks that the artist and her parents do.
We were looking through my parents’ wedding photos last Sunday. My parents were recounting the past: of how they first met, dated, got married and had us.
With great fondness, my siblings and I recalled our childhood at our grandparents’ house. It was mostly fond because of the mama shop that had our favourite candy, snacks and ice cream, as well as the variety shows and cartoons that we could watch there. I also recalled a memory of my cousin saying that when he grows up and got married, he could go on movie dates with his wife and leave his children at our grandparents’ house; presumably just as his parents had done.
Although my grandma and grandpa have been gone for 10 and 2 years respectively, I still can see their house when I close my eyes. Even though a 3 room flat, it felt large to a child-sized me. I can feel the cool marble table in the dining area, smell the hair cream that my grandfather used around the sink and hear the rhythmic clacking of the foot pedal sewing machine in the balcony. And although it seems so real to me, that house does not exist in reality any more, only as a figment of my imagination.
Just as I start to mourn the loss, I remember that this reality in front of me too, shall pass. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 5:1 –
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
And so we have hope, because whatever that seems so real right now: our carefully crafted appearances (real and online), careers, wealth, social status, health, youth, will fade away. And these things are being compared to a tent, as compared to the eternal house that we will receive in heaven.
For Matthew 6: 19 – 21 says:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So I will not mourn, but instead look forward to heaven where I can be reunited with God and my grandparents in an eternal dwelling. Amen.